As I write this, I am enjoying the view from my home office window of about 8 inches of beautiful, sparkling snow. All of our familial creatures—that is, me, the hubby, our three boys, four cats, one dog and one goldfish—are enjoying a snow day off from work and school, and generally being cozy.
On cold or snowy days like these, I often wonder how all of the homeless animals on the streets and in the countryside are faring. With these thoughts comes gratitude for the shelters, animal rescues and volunteers that dedicate their time and energy toward ending animal suffering and finding these sweet companions forever-homes. We explore the topic of “animal welfare” in this month’s issue, and have assembled articles and resources focused on helping companion, farm and wild animals alike.
Maybe you’re also concerned about the health and welfare of farm animals used to make the food you eat. Did you know that labels like “natural”, “free range” and “antibiotic-free” have nothing to do with animal welfare or environmental sustainability? Check out our news brief about Animal Welfare approved, a great resource for label information and local sources of humanely-raised foods. (Hint: in our area these include Leaping Waters farm in Shawsville and Happy Rooster farm in Pilot, as well as Local Roots and Lucky Restaurants in Roanoke.)
This month, we also take a look at new distribution trends in the health and local foods industries. Healthy, locally-sourced foods are becoming more readily available at “mainstream” restaurants—for example, Montano’s Restaurant in Roanoke sources their produce and meats from local farms. Please stop by there for a meal, and tell them Natural Awakenings sent you!
Speaking of local farms, the proposed Mountain View natural gas pipeline is slated to travel right through Four Corners Farm in Franklin County. This month’s community spotlight talks to local leaders about the pipeline’s impact and a forum slated for March 9th that will address the issue in more depth.
Have you heard that Kale is King (and likes to be massaged)? Read “Love your Greens” to find out why, then check out the “All Hail Kale” recipes from local gourmets at Roanoke Natural Foods CoOp, Health Nut and Seven Springs Farm.
Don’t forget to mark April 25th on your calendar for Earth Day Roanoke at Wasena Park, and check out our April issue for this and other Earth Day activities in the region!